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The Almighty Buck Science Idle

Restaurants Plan DNA-Certified Seafood Program 174

Restaurants across the globe will soon use DNA technology to reassure customers that they are getting what they pay for. In recent years getting "counterfeit" seafood has become a big problem. In 2007 several people became seriously ill from eating illegally imported pufferfish that had been mislabeled as monkfish. From the article: "David Schindel, a Smithsonian Institution paleontologist and executive secretary of the Washington-based Consortium for the Barcode of Life, said he has started discussions with the restaurant industry and seafood suppliers about utilizing the technology as a means of certifying the authenticity of delicacies. 'When they sell something that's really expensive, they want the consumer to believe that they're getting what they're paying for,' Schindel told The Associated Press."
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Restaurants Plan DNA-Certified Seafood Program

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 27, 2011 @07:45PM (#38185072)
    ...for intentionally mislabeled "certified" seafood, sold at five times the price of the regular mislabeled seafood. Just like the claims of "organic" vegetables, I won't believe a word of it unless the seafood I'm buying is still intact and clearly recognizable.
  • hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dlrowcidamon.> on Sunday November 27, 2011 @07:52PM (#38185108) Homepage
    Personally I think we should encourage counterfeit seafood; for example, find an indistinguishable but sustainable substitute for shark fin and that's a good thing, I won't lose any sleep over social-climbing Chinese middle class consumers thinking they're buying genuine shark fins when they're not.
  • by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @07:54PM (#38185116) Homepage Journal
    The food scene is like the art scene, it's full of pretentious yuppies saying shit like, "I love dungfish gonads, the texture is so ethereal it dances across my palate like Penn State football coaches dance around the allegations..." Of course they only believe that because they're parroting it word-for-word from the last restaurant review, every time they recommend dungfish gonads to their friends.

    More to the point, fishes that were once considered garbage bait fish, like squid, are now haute cuisine and are on every damn menu. Salmon eggs are often sold as fish-bait, but you put 'em on sushi and their worth is jacked up by hundreds of percents.
  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @07:55PM (#38185128)
    between the Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill, Fukushima disaster, and untold other spills and illegal dumping in to the ocean i no longer trust seafood from any part of the ocean anymore, i hold no grudge against the seafood industry because it is not their fault that the ocean is where all the pollution eventually ends up since both shit and water flows down hill. i feel bad for both them and the ocean and those that like seafood (i like seafood) but the ocean i feel is no longer safe to eat from...
  • by Improv ( 2467 ) <pgunn01@gmail.com> on Sunday November 27, 2011 @08:08PM (#38185224) Homepage Journal

    If you can't tell the difference, and arn't refraining from something for ethical/religious reasons, why does it matter? Whether you tell me that food is a delicacy from France or it's from down the street, it's going to taste the same to me. Either I'll like it or I won't. Stop worrying about this authenticity crap. You can't brand fish that way.

  • by Dogbertius ( 1333565 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @08:14PM (#38185260)

    You damn well know what he is talking about. Claiming something was raised "organically" in the popularly understood sense of the word is quite profitable to abuse due to the fact that many people will pay more for it.

    Good point sir!

    On another note though, there may be some ambiguity. Some relatives visited from Luxembourg, and I recall at one family dinner we made a big deal about the produce being pesticide free, and the meat being free of artificial hormones, etc. When we explained the term was "organic", our guests spat out their food and all reached for their wine simultaneously, as they exclaimed "you grow all your food in shit?". As it turns out, they use the term "biologique" or maybe "organic-biologique". Very amusing dinner conversation.

  • Re:FooGoo me! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by madmarcel ( 610409 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @11:48PM (#38186514)

    Actually...that 'fish' in your sushi...is not what you think it is...

    "report on genetic identification of ‘whale meat’ purchased in sushi restaurants in Los Angeles, CA (USA)"
    http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2010/04/08/rsbl.2010.0239.full [royalsocie...ishing.org]

    You can submit a DNA sample online to identify the 'fish' in your sushi :D
    http://www.dna-surveillance.auckland.ac.nz/ [auckland.ac.nz]
    Plenty of evidence out there that whale and dolphin meat from endangered species is sold as 'fish' both in Japan and exported to various countries in the world.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton